Top Hat (UK Tour) – Sunderland

Cast

Jerry Travers – Alyn Hawke

Dale Tremont – Charlotte Gooch

Horace Hardwick – Clive Hayward

Madge Hardwick – Rebecca Thornhill

Alberto Beddini – Sebastien Torkia

Bates – John Conroy

Show Date – Thursday 2nd July 2015

The set was incredible with plenty of changes throughout the show and some amazing detail to really add more to different scenes and moments in the show. I think it has to be one of the best I have seen from a touring show, it just seemed to have loads of changes as we journeyed from New York to London to Venice.

The story sees Jerry Travers a well-respected and loved Broadway performer head to London for some shows. Meeting up with Horace Hardwick who has funded it all. But obviously he is going to meet the girl of his dreams, Dale Tremont. Unfortunately a case of mistaken identity causes many problems throughout and it does take quite a long time for this to work out and everyone to realise the big mistake. It does create some very amusing moments though.

Last night saw Alyn Hawke make his debut as Jerry Travers in the show and he was fantastic from start to finish. He really looked like he was enjoying himself during the dance routines and singing the very lovely songs. He held the stage and show together very well, and I was very impressed with his energy for the character.

The two acts of the show are pretty different in terms of the dancing. The whole of the first act is very heavy on the tap dancing, which I was in my element with. I love tap dancing, it was always may favourite type of dancing when I was a younger and used to attend dancing, yes because of the noise and shuffling. It really is fascinating to watch, you find yourself watching all of the performers feet over anything else. It really did have some amazing routines! The second act is a little bit more laid back in terms of dancing with slow dances and focusing more on the story.

It has a lot of charm this show and I have to say my favourite performance came from Clive Hayward as Horrace. He was hilarious and had such a great role to take on, I also really liked the last musical number which was between Horrace and his wife Madge. After a lot of arguing it really was the perfect song for the couple.

The songs are brilliant and the dancing numbers fit in so well with them all. I actually knew a few more songs than I thought, I had no idea ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ was in this show, that was a lovely moment between Jerry and Dale. Although the best (and probably predictable) choice of my favourite songs had to be ‘Cheek to Cheek’ there’s really just something about that. Isn’t a shame that we have missed out on this kind of dancing and nights out with men who wear top hat and tails? Well I certainly think so.

Charlotte Gooch was captivating as Dale and really has an incredible voice, she owned that stage and had some great lines as well. Showing that she certainly was not a push over when it came to men. She could hold her own, not bad for something that was a film in 1935! I always find that very interesting with these older musicals, they always have something great about them.

Sebastien Torkia probably had the hardest role as Beddini with the Italian accent and crazy moments he had to do. Especially his own dance and well I guess strip tease routine, which lets face it was hilarious. You did have to feel sorry for him (a little bit) when everything was going his way then suddenly took a change.

A massive well done to the cast and production team who have put together an incredibly engaging show. The dancing, the songs, the music, the acting were brilliant. I am very pleased that I bought a ticket at the last-minute for this one. It was certainly worth it, just a shame it wasn’t publicised more as has done more than a week at the Sunderland Empire. The production has nearly finished its UK Tour which started back in 2014.

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